Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23 Psalm 89
Colossians 3:1-11 Luke 12:13-21
Possessions come in many forms. The most obvious ones are those we use every day; the things we buy and what has been given to us and, indeed, we cannot live without them. But in very deep and human sense – that is to say, a spiritual sense – possessions have a spiritual dimension or, perhaps more accurately, our attitude towards them involves us in a spiritual and interior way.
For example, suppose someone wants to buy a new car. If they are wise, they will scour the showrooms to try to find something suitable. Then they will .negotiate with the seller to get the best price, and finally they will drive away their new wheels. Such an endeavour can take up large amounts of time and energy. However, what is pertinent for us is the fact of looking forward to possessing the car.
We think about what car we want and we desire what we can see – someone else’s vehicle, perhaps. So, naturally enough, when we think about owning one for ourselves – well, at the very least it cheers us up. And when we find ourselves sitting at the wheel and driving off into the nearest traffic jam, we are, for a short while, really quite chuffed at what we now have. With all the hard work we do, surely we deserve a bit of pleasure once we have chosen the car, visited the showrooms, talked to our family and friends, convinced ourselves we have got the better of the salesman, and so on. Surely we have a right to enjoy it, and it would be churlish to disagree. But….notice what happens here.
All the anticipation and even excitement we felt prior to buying the car is soon gone. Sad to say, but it is true. Only a few days after steering away and parking the thing prominently for all to see, our pleasure is gone and we are simply stuck in the driving seat of just another car amongst millions. A pity, that. But can we learn something from this?
Possessions are most commonly thought of as material, but that is not their essence. This lies within us – our attitudes towards them – so they can also be thought of as having an ideological, emotional, and intellectual sense where, in the deeper interior arenas to which St Ignatius directs us, they can be images we have of God, ourselves and our deepest attachments. In a very real sense, these types of possessions and the attachments we have to them can exert a powerful and controlling effect on us, conditioning, if not determining, how we think and what we do with our lives. Reflecting on these is indeed an exercise, but one concerned with our spiritual nature, and practising this will free us more and more.
We can choose to learn the lesson our interior life is teaching us, namely, that we have to look elsewhere for lasting joy. More than that, however, we can adjust our attitudes to possessions so much so that whilst we enjoy them, we are not ourselves possessed by them, so to speak. Because, you see, that is what so easily happens. And it makes us rather dull and superficial, and, in the end, discontented people. But we can be free inside of ourselves if we direct our energies to the things that give us lasting joy, as St Ignatius discovered through a long time of trial and error. As we listen to today’s Gospel, we can learn to be wise, to be a child of God, to be a better disciple of Christ by letting go of our possessions.
Fr James Campbell S.J.
From the archives. First published 9th September 2007.
An exhibition of paintings by Victoria Brenninkmeijer will take place on the Ground Floor Gallery at 114 Mount Street from 1st August – 31st August. Victoria has had a lifelong interest in fine art. When she started Spiritual Direction a few years ago her mentors encouraged her to begin using art as a form of creative contemplation. After taking several short courses, Victoria completed the Art Foundation year, and is now studying at the Art Academy in London for a BA in Fine Art. There will be an open evening with the artist on Tuesday 6th August from 6pm to 9pm with refreshments. All are most welcome.
PROPOSED WALKING CLUB
It is well known amongst Catholics that walking a long-distance pilgrimage is both beneficial to physical health and spiritually uplifting, and an increasing number of regular worshippers at our church have participated in such pilgrimages over the past few years. In preparation for these, a small group of parishioners have also organized occasional one-day practice walks.
However, it has been suggested that the time has come to set up a more formal walking club for the church and arrange future walks in a more organized manner. Membership will be free and all worshippers at Farm Street are welcome to join. It is envisaged that a walk will be organized about four times a year, and each will be up to ten miles in distance within travelling distance of central London. We will consult with members to choose walking destinations, paths and dates which are suitable for the majority.
If you are interested in this new venture, please contact Hossein Zand for more information at email@example.com or Tel 07949 999881.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
Preparation start date: 6th October 2019
Celebration: 14th June 2020
If you would like your child to take part in this preparation, please contact us to request an Application Form or collect one from reception at 114 Mount Street.
Forms must be returned by:
30th September 2019.
We are in need of catechists to help on Sunday mornings with Children’s Liturgy of the Word & Holy Communion & Teenage Confirmation preparation. If you wish to share your faith with young members of our Parish, please join our team of catechists. No special qualification is required. We will provide training and faith formation. Please contact Fr Chris Pedley SJ (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Leninha (email@example.com)
Bookings are open for this year’s Farm Street Camino in the Steps of St Ignatius, walking this year in the steps of the founder of the Jesuits through the Basque Country from Alda on the Rioja border to Loyola, the birthplace of St Ignatius. The Camino is a spiritual as well as physically challenging experience, with prayer and Mass each day and a day’s retreat in Loyola followed by a final day of sightseeing in Bilbao. September 23rd – October 3rd 2019. For more information please speak to Fr Dominic or, to request a brochure and to book, contact Pax Travel direct on (020)-7485-3003; firstname.lastname@example.org For full details visit www.paxtravel.co.uk or request a brochure at Reception.
All young people of the diocese are invited to ‘The Summit’ at Westminster Cathedral on Friday 18th October 2019, 6.30pm to 8pm, for an evening of inspiring reflections, contemporary worship music and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Cardinal Nichols and Brenden Thompson from Catholic Voices will be leading the reflections and the evening promises to be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our faith together. Please come along and encourage your friends, families, classes, youth groups, confirmation groups and any other young people you know to join us. More information at https://dowym.com/events/the-summit-westminster-cathedral/
MOUNT STREET JESUIT CENTRE
114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AH
Book online for any of these events
Information: 020 7495 1673 or
OUR 2019-20 PROGRAMME WILL SOON APPEAR AT THE CHURCH DOORS. IN THE MEANTIME VISIT www.mountstreet.info
FOR NEW EVENTS!
AUGUST IGNATIAN RETREAT DAY
Facilitated by members of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre team, Saturday 10th August 11am-4pm.
These are retreat days of prayer run in an Ignatian way, in which there is talk, time for personal prayer and the opportunity to listen to each other.
There is no need to book for these days, just come along.
FOR YOUR DIARY: OPEN EVENING AND OPEN DAY!
Thursday 5th September 6-8pm and
Saturday 7th September 11am-1pm
Come and meet the team, see what we do, sample workshops & ways of praying, etc. Drop in anytime. There will be friendly faces and cake!
CONTEMPLATIVES IN ACTION
Facilitated by Theodora Hawksley CJ
Thursday 19th September 7-9.30pm –3rd Thursday of each month
Seeing the world through God’s eyes leads us to loving action for justice, and action leads us back to prayer. These sessions provide an opportunity for those engaged in work or volunteering in social justice to reflect on their practice, and deepen their understanding of Catholic social teaching. Each session has some short input followed by time for reflection and sharing.
INTRODUCTION TO IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY
6 Tuesdays, September 17th-October 22nd, 6.30-8pm Facilitated by Andrew Kerr-Jarrett & Mary Dodge.
Repeated 6 Thursdays, September 19th-October 24th, 11.30am-1pm
Facilitated by Lynne Galloway
For those who are new to Ignatian spirituality, from any background. During each session you will be introduced to a different aspect of Ignatian spirituality or prayer, guided through a prayer exercise, invited to share your reflections in a small group and at the end of the session gathered together again in the larger group. You will be invited to pray the prayer exercise during the week, for just like physical exercise the more you ‘practice’ the more benefits you will feel.
WHY NOT COME TO OUR REGULAR EVENTS? (*: NO NEED TO BOOK!)
Mindfulness and the Alexander Technique
2nd and last Wednesday of each month (except August) 11.30am-3.30pm
Book Club *
2nd Thursday of each month (except July & August)
Book for September: “The Brothers Karamazov” Dostoevsky
Contemplatives in Action *
2nd Thursday of each month (except July & August)